The plan to slow the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan doesn't surprise U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.
Durbin says he’s heard from top military officials that the Afghan security forces continue to require assistance in an advisory role from U.S. forces. President Obama announced 5,500 U.S. troops will likely remain in the country when his term ends, and Durbin thinks for the time being, the U.S. should avoid setting another firm date for a full withdrawal.
“This force needs to continue in smaller numbers, and I hope that is a trendline that as (Afghanistan) gets better prepared to defend its own people that we can diminish our role,” Durbin said.
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The original plan had been to reduce U.S. forces in the country to around 1,000 by the end of 2016.
Durbin has faith in the Afghan forces to fight off the recent show of strength by the Taliban in the country, with U.S. troops supporting them in a non-combat role.
Although the U.S. ended its combat operations in Afghanistan last year, its participation in the war has lasted 14 years, making it the second longest conflict in the country’s history after the Vietnam War.